Big ideas from the smallest room
Toilet Talks

The most powerful connections happen where you least expect them ...

... and the more we all connect – across sectors and silos, beyond hierarchies and professional identities, in authentic, human, unguarded conversations – the more likely we are to solve some of the biggest problems facing our world today.

This is our invitation to you. And it’s just the beginning.

Listen in on big ideas from the smallest room

Toilets, another thing that connects us

You need grassroots inclusion where the community has a say

Every decision you now make will impact generations to come

Climate change is about climate justice

You have to ask for what you want

It’s crucial to get the youth perspective


If you strive to make new connections, open lines of communication and collaborate with others to create a more integrated, equitable and sustainable world, this is the place to help create new solutions. 


Meet the people making a difference in their countries, working to achieve clean water, sanitation and hygiene for all. Educators, healthcare workers, researcher and grassroots organizers bringing sustainable solutions to their communities for today and tomorrow. 


Climate change and water are interconnected. Activists and experts from a wide variety of sectors living in all regions of the world can come together to inspire and support each other. We are a global community and we can work together to make our planet a better place.

Toilet Talks street scene


Are you curious to make new connections and share knowledge towards a fairer, more sustainable and inclusive world? Frustrated by old ways that haven’t worked?

Do you believe, like we do, that business-as-usual is not going to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals? That we need new forms of relationship and connection, exploration and problem-solving?

Connect with us and other like-minded changemakers

Sign-up to be informed about the next Toilet Talks episode, exciting events, #CommitToConnect inspiration, and other fun updates.

By filling in your above details you agree to be in touch about the latest Toilet Talks news.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

* Is required

Tell us your story, how will you #CommittoConnect?

Change starts with YOU. Mobilise with other like-minded activists to improve the lives of every person in the world. We can make this happen if we all work together.

ell us how you will #CommittoConnect via


Find stories and ideas, people and organisations who could help you accelerate change.

Toilets, another thing that connects us

“The toilet is an amazing resource!” Few people announce that with such enthusiasm. For award-winning musician and songwriter Okyeame Kwame, going against the grain is not unusual, it’s celebrated—especially when it comes to issues of the heart.

Read more

All Systems Connect 2023

All Systems Connect 2023

Connect, learn, unite and make change ​ with experts and activists, decision-makers and influencers ​ from water, sanitation and hygiene, health, climate, economic development, ​ education, social justice.

Join us at All Systems Connect 2023.

2 -4 May 2022 in The Hague, The Netherlands

Read more

Share yours

Do you have a unique insight, useful resource, or way of working that others could learn from?

Let us know about it. We could have it on this site!


Illustration by Cecilia Castelli

You have to ask for what you want

In honour of International Women’s Day, we’re giving the floor to you. Women who champion for the right to water and sanitation respond to big ideas from the smallest room.

Here's what they have to say

Read more

Arjen and Hajar

Less blah, more dancing

Moving beyond the greenwashing blah and stepping into a world where we not only act together, but move in coordinated synchrony.

In this frank interview by Hajar Yagkoubi, former Netherlands youth representative to the United Nations and Toilet Talks interviewee, we evaluate COP26 through the eyes of water and sanitation expert, Arjen Naafs.

Read more

Themes: climate change
Post-COP Activists Connect

Post-COP Activists Connect

Young climate and water voices move beyond the blah.

An event which brought together passionate activists, experts in climate and water and those impatient for change.

Young activists in climate and water connected to look back on COP26 and ask, has it been more “blah, blah, blah”, or has genuine progress been made?

Read more

Cecilia Birungi in action

Health and water and sanitation are intrinsically related

Meet Cecilia. Being the District Health Inspector for the Kabarole district of Uganda, she works both in health and water, sanitation and hygiene. She is the first one to notice how the lack of water and sanitation services can become a serious health safety issue.

Cecilia wants her government do more to support the very poorest who cannot afford to provide sanitation facilities. She wants to see a more engaged community to advocate a positive mindset change as far as sanitation and hygiene is concerned.

Read more

water resource, Ethiopia

Creating holistic change in Ethiopia's water sector

Zewdu Assefa trains grassroots operators in Ethiopia's water sector. Many of them don’t get formal instruction, so operation and maintenance is also a major challenge for them. There is a great demand for training in the country but the capacity is quite limited.

Zewdu is giving maintenance workers the tools to solve their own problems in the workplace.

Read more


At the crossroads of health, water and sanitation in Niger

Mourtala Abdou is a community health worker in charge of a healthcare facility in Niger. In addition to treating patients and raising awareness about personal hygiene, he also must manage the cleanliness of the health facility. He recently took part in a class to learn more about biowaste management and environmental cleaning.

Read more

Nabanita at work

Tackling inequality with cultural sensitivity in India

Nabanita Das is a researcher for an NGO in India. She contributes to the health, water, sanitation and hygiene and nutrition aspects of her organization and feels very connected to the communities works in and balances the sometimes-conflicting traditional customs with health promotion and hygiene education.

Nabanita aims to help end open-defecation and improve access to menstrual hygiene facilities.

Read more


We believe that we’ll only solve the biggest problems facing our world today if we recognise how interconnected they are – and to learn and connect more, and in a variety of ways. Toilet Talks is one part of our wider ‘Connect’ programme.

At this critical time, we think we need to disrupt traditional routes to alliances, allies and partnerships. We want to learn from people working on issues that are different to ours, but connected. And to share our learning with them. We want to work out how we can help each other solve the big issues of today.

We think you’re here because you do too.

We know these coalitions won’t be straightforward. There are many conflicts and ambiguities, but we will use these as strengths. 

This is just the beginning...

About the creators

We are IRC. We believe in a world where water, sanitation and hygiene services are fundamental needs that everyone is able to take for granted. We are not a traditional charity. We strongly believe that vital public services should be funded by the systems that support them, not by aid or one-off gifts.

Through collaboration and the active application of our expertise, we work with governments, service providers and international organisations to turn this vision into reality. For good.

Learn how we make change last:
Drop us a line:

IRC Toilet Talks team photo